Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre
Publication date: February 13, 2018 (US)
Summary from Goodreads:
Petty criminal Zara Cole has a painful past that’s made her stronger than most, which is why she chose life in New Detroit instead moving with her family to Mars. In her eyes, living inside a dome isn’t much better than a prison cell.
Still, when Zara commits a crime that has her running scared, jail might be exactly where she’s headed. Instead Zara is recruited into the Honors, an elite team of humans selected by the Leviathan—a race of sentient alien ships—to explore the outer reaches of the universe as their passengers.
Zara seizes the chance to flee Earth’s dangers, but when she meets Nadim, the alien ship she’s assigned, Zara starts to feel at home for the first time. But nothing could have prepared her for the dark, ominous truths that lurk behind the alluring glitter of starlight.
I had no idea what this book was about before reading it. I picked it solely on the fact that I liked the author’s other works and that it was a science fiction with space travel. I probably had read the blurb back in October when I first heard about the book, but then promptly forgot it. But I am kind of glad that I did forget. I think not having a preconceived notion about this book made it that much better. I think this is the best sci-fi I’ve read in a while.
I loved Zara. She is tough as nails and not afraid to tell it like it is, but she still has a sweet side and can care a lot about people when it is warranted. She had a really tough childhood and has lived on the streets for some of that. Her background makes her tough and leery of strangers. She doesn’t trust easily and with good reason. So the friendship she develops with Beatriz, the other honor on the trip, is wonderful. They both come to trust each other, which is hard for Zara, but they form a very close bond. Of course their bond is nothing like the one she develops with Nadim, the alien ship that she travels with.
Nadim is an interesting character. A sentient spaceship, that is part living organism, but also has mechanics and technology that helps both Nadim and the honors survive. I liked Nadim from the start, I could tell that he truly cared for the humans that he spent time with and wanted to understand them. But Nadim does have some issues and secrets that makes it hard for him to work with Zara from the start. Zara can tell that he is hiding some things and it takes a lot for him to tell her what he knows of the truth. It is hard to describe the way that the Leviathan connect with the humans without spoiling too much of the story, but it really is an amazing concept.
The whole plot of the story is great. For the most part it is well paced with lots of action and emotional upheaval. There are some beautiful scenes between Zara and Bea and Nadim. There are many secrets that are slowly revealed about the Leviathan, some good but mostly not so good. There is also some plot twists and scary alien encounters. The ending was amazing and it will be hard to wait until the next book comes out to see what will happen next.